There’s no denying it – office moves can be stressful. As well as formulating a plan to make the transition as smooth as possible for your employees, you also need to be making sure the ‘behind-the-scenes’ stuff is taken care of too.
We’ve helped our fair-share of businesses to navigate this transition – so here’s our guide to the 7 Things You Need to Know if you’re Moving Offices:
1. Network Cabling – get your Main Fit-Out contractor to install the CAT6 ‘Structured Cabling’* but get your IT Department to do the Secondary cabling* and Patch cabling* (see the ‘definitions’ section at the end of the blog post).
2. Freedom to choose – allow 2.5 network cables/ports per desk to give yourself the freedom to choose an appropriate telephone system (and supplier) and an IT infrastructure (and supplier). If your IT Department doesn’t supply your telephony, and that’s done by a different 3rd party, then a physically separate network will be easier for the two of them to manage and work together.
3. Configuration and Testing – are you going to ‘lift and shift’ everything that you’ve got over to the new office? If so, then testing ahead of time may be really difficult. Or are you going to take the opportunity to upgrade some of your infrastructure, such as network switches, firewall, servers and telephone system? If this is the case, you can thoroughly test everything before moving your computers (and people) over to the new office – which can make life a lot easier.
4. Internet Connectivity – you don’t want to commit to an order/installation before you’ve completed the legals on the new office space. Or worse still, before you have a date from the Fit-Out contractor to ensure there’s power and a server rack in place for BT Openreach to carry out the installation – otherwise Openreach will abort the install, and you’ll be at the back of the queue again.
But, at the same time, Internet Connections are sometimes on a 90-working-day lead time. And, the end-date that you’ll be told will often move as each part of the installation date is completed, and the job handed over to the next contractor in the chain. Remember to factor this in to your calculations, when giving notice on your current office space.
5. Time to install your IT – remember that your Fit-Out Contractor might not allow your IT Department to install anything before the fit-out is completed. Or, the IT Department might not want to install anything when there’s still dust and decoration-works taking place.
So, the date that your Fit-Out contractor tells you the office will be ready, doesn’t mean that you can move in the same day – your IT Department will need time to install/test/stabilise the IT Infrastructure before you and your team move in.
6. Post Migration Support – having lots of techies there on your first morning in the new office, to provide ‘Post Migration Support’, will make things feel much happier for your people. There’s nothing worse than moving into a new office and waiting a week for the one, stressed out, IT guy to get to you. When we do office moves, we put lots of techies ‘on the floor’ and they have all the little problems solved by lunchtime, or sooner!
7. A little thank you goes a long way! Finally, remember to thank everyone who helped, and maybe arrange for a beer or pizza once the project is complete. It makes them feel good about themselves. We’ve done a few office moves where our techies have received a round of applause when they said goodbye, which is always appreciated.
Need help? If you’re considering an office move, then we can help! Just give our friendly team a call on 01276 455466.
“Working with Steve and the team on a large office fit out, IT installation and 350 user moves has been brilliant. He and his team are completely driven to do a great job and they do it with energy, resilience and a laugh. From strategy to screwdriver, the detail could not have been better attended to.”
Teresa Kennedy, IT Project Manager, Capita
Structured Cabling: the cabling that you can’t see – for example, from the server cabinet to wall ports or floor boxes.
Secondary Cabling: the cabling from the wall ports or floor boxes to your PCs.
Patch Cabling: located in the server room linking switches, servers and the internet.